This was our first actual walking day. We will have 4. The goal was to hike the 11 km to join the second shelter we had booked: the Refugio Paine Grande.
We started to turn back and do a very small part of the “O circuit” in order to reach the Grey glacier lookout and the first hanging bridge which should give another nice view. Observed from the side, the glacier was again astonishing!
Back on the trail toward the next refugio we had incredible views of the Lago Grey and the surrounding mountains!
This short day was very nice but also very tiring as we had to deal with strong winds all day long! We think we had 60km/h winds with gusts of 80km/h which destabilized us regularly. Sometimes it was like if a giant hand was grabbed my backpack and turned it to the right, then to the left to make me change direction. The wind played with me as if it wanted to show me its great power and how small I was! It could had been worse though and I could not stop thinking about the 120km/h we encountered on the Kepler track in New Zealand!
… I may have moaned and swore a little bit today…
Finally we arrived at the Refugio which had an incredible view of the Paine Grande mountain and of the Cuernos del Paine, these amazing granit peaks! By the end of the afternoon, the winds were so strong that all the clouds had been cleared and we could enjoy the two blocks of mountains in a blue sky! On the other side of the Refugio, the turquoise Lago Pehoé was beautiful. The winds generated haze on the lake, giving the impression that a white powder was spreading above it.
It was again a very nice day and tomorrow the adventure will continue!